Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homemade Pizza Pockets and Cinnamon stix

Pizza is one of my favorite foods, but the pizza you get from the pizza stores is so greasy so I like to make my own.  I decided to try my own pizza pockets today too.  I made some a few months back and they weren't that great, but then I found this awesome recipe for pizza dough.  I love it!!

Honey Pizza Dough

2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup water (105-115 degrees)
3 c. flour
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

Combine water and yeast and set aside till starts to be frothy.  Mix flour, salt, oil, honey and yeast mixture.  Knead until forms a ball.  Put in greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Meanwhile, got pizza ingredients together.
Your choice of spaghetti or pizza sauce, about 10 oz. shredded cheese, and whatever pizza toppings you prefer.
Once dough has risen roll dough out to about 1/8 in thickness.  This is easiest done if dough divided into 4 sections.  Cut dough into an even amount of circles. I use my Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal, but you can use a small bowl or whatever size you would like.  Place half the circles on a greased baking sheet.  Put about 1 tbsp sauce in each and then put a small bit of toppings and cheese.  Cover with other half of circles and seal around the edges.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 13-15 minutes or until tops are slightly browned, depending on size of circles.

I made about 18, slightly smaller than a cd.  You can keep combining and rolling out the dough until you get the amount you want.  Try different fillings like bbq chicken, alfredo instead of spaghetti, or whatever else you feel like.

This dough is great for regular pizza too.  Just divide in 4, roll each out to about 8 or 9 inch circle.  Place sauce and toppings and bake for about 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you don't want to use all the dough, it freezes great.  For best results, roll out flat and freeze.

Cinnamon Stix

With remaining pizza dough, or with a new batch, roll out to about an 8 inch circle, spread with butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Make your own condensed soups!

Do you ever run out of your canned soups?  Well, here's the solution:  make your own!  Here is a website that I found that has the recipe for them.  I am so excited to try these out!  It seems like the canned stuff is too salty so this will be great!  I haven't tried them yet, but I will in the next week or two.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Homemade Animal Crackers-Regular

Since my chocolate ones turned out pretty good I wanted to try the regular flavored ones.  And guess what?!  I actually like these better than the chocolate ones!  Which is very surprising because I am a chocoholic.

Classic Animal Crackers

1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Of Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal
4 Tablespoons Of Honey
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Of Liquid Buttermilk (I only used about 2 tbsp.)
1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Of Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Butter

Preparation Instructions:
To begin this classic animal crackers recipe, you should first preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 200 degrees Celsius. Next take out a blender or food processor, add in the oatmeal, then grind it until it's reduced to a fine powder. Next take out a large mixing bowl, and then add in the ground oatmeal, baking soda, and table salt. Sift this initial batch of ingredients together. Moving along, next cut your butter into pieces that are roughly pea size. You can now pour in the buttermilk and honey, vigorously stirring the mixture until a firm animal cracker dough has formed. Next up, clean and flour a flat surface, then roll out your animal cracker dough to an eighth of an inch thick. At this point you can take out your animal cracker cookie cutters, and make a variety of different shaped pieces. Place your finished crackers on to a greased baking sheet, then slide it into the oven to bake for 5 to 7  minutes, or until the animal crackers turn a light brown color. Once the crackers are done, let them cool down on wire wracks.

I think this dough would also make a great graham cracker type crust.  Just roll it out and put it in the pie pan and bake for about 10 minutes.  I may try that on my next cheesecake adventure.

As far as nutrition info....it is about the same as the chocolate crackers since the cocoa doesn't add any points or anything.  These are great crackers!  I may even share with the kids, if they behave =).

Homemade chocolate animal crackers

I have been craving animal crackers lately so I decided to find a recipe and make my own. 

Chocolate Animal Crackers
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Soda
1/2 Cup Oatmeal
6 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 Almond Extract
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Buttermilk (to make your own it is 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk) may not need it all
1/4 Cup Softened Butter
Preparation Instructions:

 Pour the oatmeal into a food processor or blender and pulse it until the oats are near a powder consistency. Next add the ground oats to a large mixing bowl along with the table salt, and then sift them together. Next add in the cocoa powder, white flour, baking soda, honey, almond extract, vanilla extract, buttermilk (just a little at a time), and salted butter. Stir the contents together until a firm animal cracker dough takes shape. If you find that the dough is too dry, then simply add in more buttermilk. You are also more than welcome to either increase or decrease the cocoa powder proportion, it depends on your own taste preference. Moving forward, now that your dough is done, place it in into the refrigerator to chill for one hour (or a little less if you're impatient, it just make sit easier to roll). Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to an eighth inch thickness. Using flour dipped animal cracker cutters, or play-doh cutters, create a variety of different cracker shapes. Place the cut out crackers on to a greased cookie sheet. You will want to bake the chocolate animal crackers at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for roughly ten minutes. Once baked, be sure and let the animal crackers cool on wire wracks.
These are great with frosting on them too, but that ups the calorie count. These are a nice snack dipped in milk too!
As far as the Weight Watcher point value is about 25 pts. for the whole recipe!!  Depending on the size of cookie you make will determine the serving size for you.  I made ab out 50 cookies of the size in the picture, and then about 50 more little cookies about the size of quarters (plus a few cookie's worth of dough that I ate =) ).  Not too bad.  It's a pretty yummy snack!  I especially love the taste of the cocoa and almond extract.

When I made mine, I had to add a little more flour because I used all the buttermilk, so only add as much buttermilk as you need to make it manageable to roll.  If it is a little sticky, that's okay.  It firms up when it is in the fridge.

Here is the link to a website that has tons of animal cracker recipes:  http://www.animalcrackers.net/

Friday, June 11, 2010

Coconut Bread

I love banana breads, zucchini breads and similar things so I thought this sounded really good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan.  I used 4 small mini-loaf pans since I like to freeze them for later or give them away.

2 and 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup and 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar (original recipe lists caster sugar; I just used granulated)
2 cups sweetened or unsweetened flaked coconut
2 eggs
1 and 1/4 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted (I used light to make it a bit healthier)
In a large mixing bowl (don't use a mixer), whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and coconut
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture.
Stir just until combined and a few streak of flour remain.
Add in the melted butter and stir just until smooth. Don't over mix.
Pour into loaf pan.  Bake for about 60 minutes (my loaves took maybe 50 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  With my mini-loaves it took about 40 minutes but just keep an eye out.
This was super yummy!!  Next time I make this I want to try it with almond extract instead of vanilla.
If I calculated the points right the whole thing is 63 points (half of it is from the coconut)  When I divided it into my four loaves that made each loaf about 15 points.  I usually cut them into about 8 slices so about 2 pts. a slice. So all in all about the same as if you were to eat most cookies. =)